LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Every Wednesday Free2Hope opens its doors from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. to survivors and victims of human trafficking, including sex crimes, and domestic violence at their new home near downtown Louisville. The non-profit’s weekly drop-in center helps build community and trust.

“Last week we had 12 which was pretty crazy, but it’s a good thing, definitely,” Founder Amy Leenerts said last Wednesday, which was the third week since the new drop-in center opened.

At the entrance, there is a sign-in sheet and women write down whatever name they feel comfortable with because this is a safe place.

After sign-in, they check-in with Free2Hope’s only other employee, Program Specialist Pamela Krebs.

“A lot of our ladies coming through have made comments that they’ve never had women that they could trust or they’ve never really had relationships with women, and we want to be able to change that,” Krebs said. “Because if that’s going to be the open door for trust, then that’s where we want to start.”

Krebs is the social worker that connects women who ask for resources, from getting an I.D. card to entering a detox program. 

A cook whips up a free home-cooked meal every Wednesday, and there’s a fridge full of snacks.

“You know just something to give them a few calories because we do have so many women that just have no weight on them whatsoever,” Leenerts told Spectrum News 1. She said that’s due to drug-use within human trafficking. 

Upstairs, the house has bins full of jeans, a closet with winter coats, and drawers full of socks, which are a key item.

“You know they may have the same socks on for weeks at a time. You know, and definitely something they want,” Leenerts explained.

Leenerts can relate to the women who walk through the door because she’s a human trafficking survivor. 

“And this became my justice to you know trying to help somebody else, trying to hopefully better their life and you know maybe get some kind of justice that i never got, you know, so, and i can live with that,” Leenerts said.

The drop-in center also offers therapeutic art activities, a place to do laundry, take a warm shower or stock up on any products they need, from toothbrushes to tampons.

“And to feel like, you’re making them feel more human for a while, because you know they don’t always feel human. Understandably, you know, the streets are hard. Very hard, and it’s great to be able to have a positive effect,” Leenerts said. “And try and help them go forward with whatever they want in life.”

Free2Hope can’t make someone leave a life in human trafficking, but the drop-in center helps build community and trust. 

“So while I can’t make that decision for them, the best thing we can do is love them through it,” Krebs said.

Free2Hope’s drop-in center is located at 2539 W. Main Street in Louisville, and is open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. For information on other services and resources Free2Hope offers, visit its website.

The Human Trafficking Hotline is open 24 hours, seven days a week. The number is 1-888-373-7888 or you can text “help” or “info” to 233733.